IPL 2020 COVID-19 rules: Players to be tested every 5th day, 7-day quarantine for bio-bubble breach
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Aug 04, 2020, 09:44 pm
A new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) draft prepared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) states Indian players and support staff are required to return negative for COVID-19 at least five times before they begin their training for the upcoming thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). They will also subsequently get tested every fifth day during IPL 2020, which will include undergoing two COVID-19 RT-PCR tests, 24 hours apart, a week before joining the 14-day quarantine period with their respective teams.
In the event of any member of the team or support staff testing positive, he shall be placed in quarantine for a period of 14 days. Upon the completion of quarantine, he must undergo two more COVID-19 RT-PCR tests, once again within a space of 24 hours. The individual will be cleared for travel to UAE for the IPL beginning on September 19, if their test results come out as negative
A BCCI official said, "Following their arrival in the UAE, the players and support staff will have to return at least three negative tests during a week's quarantine and if they are negative, they can enter the bio-bubble and start training,". He added, "There could be minor changes to this protocol depending on the feedback from the teams but there will not be any compromise on players and team officials' safety,".
The draft also says the players and team officials are to not meet each other in the hotel in the UAE during the first week. They can do so only after they test negative thrice, following which they will be allowed to enter the tournament bio-bubble and begin their training.
Speaking about foreign players flying in directly to the UAE, the official said, "All overseas players and support staff also need to undergo two COVID-19 RT-PCR tests before flying into the UAE and can only fly if the tests are negative. If not, then the same 14-day quarantine period and two negative tests to be able to fly to the UAE,".
Tests will be conducted on the players and support staff on day 1, day 3 and day 6 of their quarantine in the UAE. Upon clearing them, they will again be tested during every fifth day of the 53-day tournament. Furthermore, the teams can do more tests on their own above the BCCI testing protocol, while additional tests can also be carried out as per the UAE government's guidelines. The teams have been informed not to travel before August 20 in order to carry out the testing protocols and the quarantine drill, if necessary.
The BCCI has given authorization to the teams to arrive at a decision in regard to the travel partners and families. However, they too are mandated to adhere to the strict bio-secure protocols, in case they are to accompany the cricketers and support staff. Family members are required to follow social distancing while interacting with other families and players, with a face mask on, and will not be allowed to meet anybody outside the bio-bubble.
The official said, "The families will also not be allowed to enter the PMOA (players and match officials area) and field of play at any time during the training and matches. And anyone who breaches the bio-secure protocols, will have to be in self-isolation for seven days and return two negative tests on day 6 and 7 to be allowed to re-enter the bio-bubble,".